OMG. Have you heard about the furor over a pre-teen book that uses the word “scrotum”?

Seriously? It’s not even slang. It doesn’t even have a derogatory connotation.

Every kid should know the word and what it means. That it’s specifically school librarians who are up in arms over this makes the frenzy even more absurd. Educators should find it appalling that kids are shamed by adults into not speaking the names of their body parts. Kids who are ashamed of their body parts grow up to use those parts unwisely, or to hate themselves because they don’t know what they do or how to use them.

The argument that teachers would be uncomfortable answering the inevitable question from a student, “What’s a scrotum?” simply doesn’t hold water. The answer is, “Only boys have a scrotum. It’s like a bag of skin and muscle that holds the testicles. Go home and ask a grown-up if you have more questions.”

Just because lots of teachers were raised with shame doesn’t mean that shame should be passed on. Adults who care for kids agree implicitly to make sacrifices for those kids. Two minutes of blushing is worth it. Suck it up and deal with the awkwardness.

Body part names are not dirty words, dammit.

UPDATE: Kelley commented with a link to a story about a theatre that changed its marquee announcing a performance of The Vagina Monologues to read “Hoohah” because a woman whose niece asked her about the word called to complain that she was offended. She should have been offended that her niece had to ask at all.

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